Our History

About Kundan Lal Jaggi

Kundan Lal Jaggi was a living legend and a culinary master of Tandoori cuisine and is often credited for making it popular all over the globe. Born and raised in a Punjabi-Hindu family in Peshawar, British India; as a young boy Kundan Lal Jaggi embarked on a journey of flavours and taste mastering Tandoori cuisine at a restaurant owned by Mokha Singh in Peshawar in the 1930’s.

During the aftermath of the partition of India in1947 which displacing many, Kundan Lal Jaggi a refugee lost everything he had and travelled to Delhi with an unflinching desire to succeed and serve a cuisine Delhi had not tasted before. This experience also honed his patience and ability to focus. The only skill Kundan Lal Jaggi knew was how to cook, so he eventually founded a restaurant with two other partners at Daryaganj in New Delhi which went on to become a huge success and revived his life.These recipes have stood the test of time and were carefully preserved by Kundan Lal Jaggi before he passed away and gifted this legacy to his grandson.

Stories Behind The Iconic Dishes

The Dal Makhani Story

A Sikh gentleman and major food enthusiast, Sucha Singh dined at Kundan Lal Jaggi’s restaurant often in 1947. One day, he suggested to Kundan Lal Jaggi that he try doing something more exciting with the regular “Maa Ki Dal”, a popular dish in Indian kitchens for centuries. After thinking over it, Kundan Lal Jaggi decided to slow cook black lentils on the tandoor with tomatoes, fresh white butter, and his choice of herbs and spices. He left it to slow simmer overnight. The next morning he discovered a luscious creamy dal. Customers wanted more and more of this delicious invention. As it was made with butter or "makhan", Kundan Lal Jaggi named it “Dal Makhani”. For vegetarian diners, the dish today is equivalent to majestic Butter Chicken.

The Butter Chicken Story

The most popular dish of North-Indian cuisine is an invention that arose out of sheer necessity. One fine night in 1947, Kundan Lal Jaggi was about to shut shop when a group of hungry refugees arrived at the doorstep of his restaurant, eager to have their first meal of the day. The kitchen was nearly empty at that late hour, barring a few portions of their famous tandoori chicken. A Bengali gentleman also dining at the restaurant suggested Kundan Lal Jaggi to do make a gravy and add tandoori chicken into it so that everyone could have a hearty meal. Kundan Lal Jaggi was struck with an idea. After finding whatever he could in the kitchen, he created a gravy with tomatoes, fresh butter, and some spices. He then added pieces of cooked tandoori chicken to it, which is why the recipe is a dual recipe of tandoori chicken cooked first and then added to the makhani "butter" gravy. The refugees loved it, and didn’t leave a morsel. Kundan Lal Jaggi decided to put this dish permanently on his menu and christened it “Butter Chicken”. With Kundan Lal Jaggi’s culinary skills, the world’s fate of taste was certainly sealed.

About The Old Iconic Restaurant

This iconic restaurant called "Moti Mahal" started in the neighbourhood of Daryaganj in New Delhi in the year 1947. This period of Punjabi refugee’s migration to Delhi in India is Daryaganj’s major reference, this was the time when our society was working to create a progressive, inventive, and ambitious nation. This restaurant delighted diners with dishes it had birthed and mastered. The objective was to make every meal better than the last, and to dig deeper to enhance the idea of culinary excellence upon which the philosophy of food is based. It was an astonishing establishment where signature inventions of tandoori cuisine were presented to the world. This restaurant was known to be a landmark, a milestone on India’s culinary map. Undoubtedly, it became Delhi's favourite dining space post-independence. This establishment welcomed royalty and elevated curry to a fine art. The restaurant started the trend of family eating out together at a time when women were not comfortable going out. The signature inventions like Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani were savoured while Shakila Bano’s Qawwalis were performed live. This restaurant enjoyed the patronage of several famous personalities of the world. Freedom fighter and the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru was in such awe of the food that he asked the restaurant team to set up a tandoor at his official residence. Staff from the restaurant would go to Nehru’s residence and cook piping hot naans and kababs for him and official state guests from all over the world. During the early 1990s, Kundan Lal and his partners decided to sell this restaurant, marking the end of a magnificent era.

Dignitaries Served By Kundan Lal Jaggi

At his restaurant in the then posh locality of Daryaganj, Kundan Lal personally catered to the biggest personalities who visited Delhi. Among them are Heads of state, Political Leaders, Film celebrities, Royal Families, Famous Scientists and popular cultural icons.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru

  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

  • Indira Gandhi

  • Rajiv And Sanjay Gandhi

  • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

  • Homi Jahangir Bhabha

  • Richard Nixon

  • MS Oberoi

  • Nikita Khrushchev

  • Sunil Dutt

  • Pierre Trudeau

  • Dev Anand

  • Jacqueline Kennedy

  • Dilip Kumar

  • The Shah Of Iran

  • Raj Kapoor

  • Dr Zakir Hussain

  • Rajesh Khanna

  • The Maharaja Of Patiala

  • Nargis

The Daryaganj Timeline

The Daryaganj Restaurant

Daryaganj - By the Inventors of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, a North Indian Cuisine restaurant, was conceptualized with the principle of celebrating the culinary legacy of Kundan Lal Jaggi and the resilience and innovation of the Punjabi refugees who migrated to Delhi after the partition of India in the year 1947, blending old-world flavours and closely guarded recipes with the most talented and creative team to create a best in class dining experience reminiscent of a bygone era, with due credit to his grandson Raghav Jaggi and Raghav’s childhood friend, restaurateur Amit Bagga. This is a twenty-first-century restaurant where guests from different backgrounds and with distinct interests can come together be it, families, corporate, travellers or ex-pats, looking for an affordable way to dine on exceptional Punjabi food. Daryaganj has retained the legacy by maintaining aesthetics, reassuring that the food quality is high and showcasing that fine dining can be accessible. The restaurant has been carefully conceptualized with great attention to detail that will result in evoking all the five human senses with a seamless blend of the past and the present.

5 Senses Dining by Daryaganj

Sense of Taste - Original and robust flavours with the best quality ingredients.

Sense of Touch - Finest of materials that come in touch at the restaurant.

Sense of Sight - Chic contemporary in a timeless setting.

Sense of Smell - A signature aroma developed with a blend of Indian and contemporary notes.

Sense of Sound - Soulful and unplugged old classic tunes sung by newer artists.

Menu Concept

The forte at Daryaganj is classic food that's bursting with a rich history and robust flavours. Exquisite plates of kebabs and sumptuous Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani proffer traditional notes with the deftness of expert touch that ensures every single ingredient sings. The dishes on the menu transcend time, whisking you back to the lanes of twentieth-century Daryaganj and enthral you with the authentic flavours that generations have grown up with. The food is cooked with fresh, hand-picked ingredients, with a selection of tandoor grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables prepared to perfection. It is a celebration of North Indian flavours from the post-independence era, brought to life using local produce. The consistent winner throughout the meal is the texture, owing to the high-quality produce being of the similar specifications as used in that era, made from recipes handed down the generations of the Jaggi family staying true to their roots. The recipes have been reconstructed to be closest to the way Kundan Lal served them in 1947, staying true to their Punjabi roots. The idea is to recuperate the forgotten flavours on the palate. The signature dishes are marked as originals from 1947 as “The Original 1947 Butter Chicken” and “The Original 1947 Dal Makhani”. Few new dishes have also been innovated and have been added on the menu. The vision of tucking into an artisan kulfi from the live counter is one to relish. The nation was craving a taste of the crackling kulfi and at Daryaganj this is very, very nice marrying old techniques and new ingredients. Daryaganj pushes the boundaries on what you know about North Indian food. Every time a plate leaves our chef’s kitchen, we are aiming to amaze.

Ambience

The mood has been skilfully curated to blend contemporary chic with references to the 1950s and the inventiveness of Kundan Lal Jaggi. The restaurant aims at transporting patrons to a visual space that melts traditional Indian motifs with inventive modernism. The ambience is epic in scale, with a fusion of Indian art deco made to fit a new-age restaurant format.

The design uses brass and wood to create a rich, earthy tonality while laser cut metal latticework on mirrors to add flair and depth. Printed floor tiles contrast with marble flooring to create interesting zones and passages through the space. The high ceiling bar is its own vision in grandeur. It’s a space where for you to toast to the old times and embrace the new.

Innovation By Daryaganj

As the new home to the original Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, Daryaganj honours the legacy of the inventor of these dishes with a march towards culinary innovations that will write the next chapter in Indian cuisine. We are always experimenting with combining old methods with new ideas.

Daryaganj Kulfi Drip Tray

The traditional Indian Kulfi is most relished in the summer, but it is also when the sweet dessert tends to drip a lot and melt faster. After testing various prototypes, we have come up with a product to make Kulfi a clean staple for the final course.

Presenting Daryaganj Kulfi Drip Tray, a presentable and easily-carried drip tray attached to the kulfi to prevent dripping and cloth stains. This innovation alters the experience of kulfi from a messy affair to a premium experience. The tray is easy to hold, making sure the guests are comfortable while enjoying their summer kulfi. It also builds a topic of discussion amongst the guests when they're introduced to the Daryaganj Kulfi Drip Tray.

Daryaganj Mouth Freshener Box

Mouth fresheners are served across restaurants in north India in various bowls from which all of the guests have to consume the mixture of Saunf and Mishri. It is alarming that restaurants use common bowls for this post-dining experience.

After testing various options and sizes, we invented the Daryaganj Mouth Freshener Box, an invigorating combination that is perfect in size and smartly designed for easy and hygienic handling.

The box offers Saunf & Mishri along with a small token of appreciation from our side. Guests can carry it along with them and consume it whenever they like.

5 Senses Delivery By Daryaganj

Daryaganj constantly draws inspiration from Late Mr Kundan Lal Jaggi the inventor of Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani. This inspiration motivates us to push our own boundaries of innovation. Daryaganj is based on the ability to invoke all five of your senses – Touch, Smell, Taste, Sound and Vision. We at Daryaganj, innovated a first of its kind delivery concept.

‘The 5 Senses Delivery Box by Daryaganj’ contains all the elements to evoke your five senses in the comfort of your home

  • Touch (The Daryaganj Touch)
    The ambience, interiors, and furniture at Daryaganj transport our patrons to an era gone by. The feel of our exclusively designed packaging will take you back to that same old-world charm. Our containers are designed to maintain the right texture of our food, so the experience of Daryaganj remains as close to the original.

  • Smell (The Smell Of Daryaganj)
    Imagine capturing the scent of a place in a way that a whiff will transport you back to the same spot. We at Daryaganj have done exactly that, by innovating a fragrant paper that captures the scent of Daryaganj. Add to that the aroma of our food, and Daryaganj is not hard to imagine.

  • Taste (The Taste Of Daryaganj)
    The use of authentic flavours and timeless recipes ensures that nostalgia is always alive at Daryaganj. Our carefully crafted containers keep the robustness of the food alive and bring the same nostalgia to your home. They are made from 100% recyclable plastic and are reusable too.

  • Hear (The Sound Of Daryaganj)
    A signature curated playlist of carefully chosen feel-good tracks keeps our patrons entertained at Daryaganj. Experience the same music by simply scanning the QR code on the packaging and listen to the sounds of Daryaganj while you enjoy your food.

  • See (The Sight Of Daryaganj)
    They say you eat with your eyes first. Keeping this in mind, we brought together various elements of the ambience at Daryaganj, in the form of colours, and the contemporary design of the delivery box. This along with the fresh ingredients used for our food make for a wholesome vision.

Daryaganj Hospitality

Our Brands

Secret Recipes Of 1947 By Daryaganj

A tasting menu of multiple courses specially crafted to show the evolution of Tandoori cuisine showcasing dishes invented and popularised by Late Mr. Kundan Lal Jaggi.

5 Senses Delivery By Daryaganj

Delivery by our various brands.

Daryaganj Kulfi

Signature classic Kulfi kiosk in our Restaurants and also standalone kiosks.

Daryaganj Lunchbox

Customised tailor made North Indain meals for Corporate Delivery

Daryaganj Experience

Bespoke catering taking a chef to the guest’s home for a live tandoori experience

Mokha Singh By Daryaganj

QSR concept in food courts and delivery only restaurants.

Biryani By Daryaganj

QSR concept in food courts and delivery only restaurants.

Artisnal Mithai By Daryaganj

Contemporary Mithai division in retail and delivery.

Legacy Of Daryaganj

Packaged foods division of "Ready to eat" and "Ready to cook" Products

Daryaganj Youtube Channel

Check out our Youtube Channel

Daryaganj Studio

A playlist of the curated tracks which play in Daryaganj Restaurants

Founders

RAGHAV JAGGI

Raghav inspired the vision that led to the seed of Daryaganj as a tribute to honour the pioneering spirit of his late grandfather, Shri Kundan Lal Jaggi.

An alumnus of St. Stephens College, Delhi and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Raghav grew up in New Delhi, India and lived in the UK, Hong Kong and South Africa in addition to travelling the world extensively and getting exposed to a range of authentic cuisines and local and regional recipes. This combination of rich culinary tradition and contemporary gourmet style, blended with age-old secret recipes carefully preserved in his family and perfected in the most iconic of North India’s restaurant kitchens, is what makes Daryaganj a unique dining experience and a treat for the senses.

Raghav is based in the US and resides in New York City, where he works as a part of the global leadership team at a NASDAQ-listed global operations and analytics company.

AMIT BAGGA

Amit Bagga has a track record of successfully delivering fine dining to patrons since his foray into the restaurant industry a decade ago. He started out as an outsider, with his family’s roots in the automobiles business, but has emerged as one of the most well-known faces of the food and hospitality sector in India.

He is the Co-founder and C.E.O. of Daryaganj Hospitality, and has overseen the expansion of the restaurant across four locations in the national capital region. He has been featured in India Today Group’s list of “50 Young Leaders of Delhi”, and was a semifinalist for the “Business World Magazine’s 40 Under 40”.

He is a hands-on restaurateur, who pays attention to detail in his restaurants, making sure all the five senses of a customer are evoked positively and they end up having a memorable experience. He has applied the same principles while conceptualising the Daryaganj restaurant.

Core Team Members

"Team work makes the dream work"

Deep Chand Dobriyal
Chef De Cuisine

Ankush Myint
Senior Vice President

Ribancy Gopi
Brand Manager

Sumit Dhiman
Associate Vice President

Tanush Bhalla
License & Logistics Head

Shipra Mishra
QA And R&D Head

GURPREET SINGH
Culinary Advisor

CSR

Environment

  • Daryaganj Restaurant Is Committed To Building A Better Environment And A Sustainable Planet For Our Future Generations.

  • Our Focus Is On The Development And Training Of System-Wide Energy And Water Conservation Programs.

  • We Understand That To Be Truly Responsible We Must Contribute To The Preservation Of The Rich Environment We All Share.

  • Every Day, And At Every Level Of Our Business, We Continue To Find Ways To Reduce Our Impact On The Planet.

  • We Have Also Made Clean Energy Investments In Our Kitchen Appliances And Lighting And Cooling Systems In Our Dining Areas.

  • We've Created And Implemented Of A Sustainable Sourcing Policy.

Sustainability

  • We Are Committed To Doing What Is Right And Ensuring That Our Actions Follow The Highest Ethical And Professional Standards.

  • We Are Presently Undertaking The Initiative Of Turning Our Entire Supply And Production Chain Sustainable, And Are In The Process Of Identifying Local Growers Who Practise Only Organic Farming.

  • Thinking Beyond The Actions Of Our Own Company, We Are Partnering With Several Other Companies, Ngos, And Many Fellow Restaurateurs To Pursue Sustainability Solutions That We, Alone, Could Not Accomplish.

  • We Are Always Looking For Partners Who Are Interested In Working With Us To Build A More Sustainable Future.

  • We Ask Tough Questions To Our Own Team Members About How And Where We Can Improve

  • We Also Focus On Social Justice Practices.

Culture

  • We Believe In The Principles Of Honesty, Integrity And Loyalty Towards Our Customers, Employees And Shareholders. These Are The Key Characteristics Of Any Ethical Business.

  • We Know That Our Success Stems From Our Exceptional Team. To Help Us Further Our Sustainability Commitment And Better Our Engagement With Staff Members And Our Communities, We Dedicate Resources To Regular Upskilling For Team Members.

  • We Provide Coverage Under Life Insurance For Our Employees. We Also Provide Full Medical Insurance To Our Employees And Their Families And Sponsor The School Education Of The Children Of Junior Staffers.

  • We Also Believe In The Principle Of Empathy Towards Our Employees.

  • We Are Committed To Celebrating The Diversity Of Our Staff Members And Respecting Each Staff Member As We Work Together To Achieve Excellence In Our Business

Charity

  • We Contribute Regularly To Ngos Which Are Working Towards Eradicating Hunger And We Have Set Aside A Certain Percentage Of Our Revenvue Towards Ths Cause, Permanently.